Staff members

Team Members

Sylvia Mann, MS, CGC
Project Director

Sylvia Mann, MS, CGC, is the Project Director for the Western States Regional Genetics Network. She is a certified genetic counselor who has been the Hawaii State Genetics Coordinator since the Genetics Program was started within the Department of Health in 1993. In her position, Ms. Mann has responsibility for assessment, assurance and policy development in the areas of genetics, newborn screening, birth defects and other related areas such as chronic disease. She has also been the principal investigator on several federally funded projects to assess the genetic service and newborn screening needs of professionals and families; using the needs assessment information to plan activities to address the identified needs; and implement and evaluate the activities. In addition to her state and regional work, Ms. Mann has served on regional and national committees including the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society. Ms. Mann received her Master’s of Science degree in human genetics and genetic counseling from Sarah Lawrence College in 1988.

Michelle Takemoto, MS, CGC
Genetic Specialist

Michelle Takemoto, MS, CGC, completed her Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling in 2015 from the University of Minnesota. In addition to her responsibilities with the WSRGN, Michelle is also a practicing genetic counselor involved in providing genetic services to pediatric patients with the Hawaii Community Genetics program. Michelle has been on staff with the WSRGN since 2015.

Lila Aiyar, MSC, CGC
Genetic Specialist

Lila Aiyar, MSc, CGC, completed her Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from the University of Toronto in 2012. She is board certified as a genetic counselor by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and the Canadian Association of Genetic Counselors. Prior to joining the WSRGN, she worked as a prenatal genetic counselor for Hawaii Pacific Health. In addition to her responsibilities with the WSRGN, she is a practicing genetic counselor who provides pediatric genetic counseling services with the Hawaii Community Genetics program. Lila has been on staff with the WSRGN since 2016.

Austin Bland, MS
Genetic Specialist

Austin Bland, M.S., completed his Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University in 2019. He previously worked as the lead clinical research coordinator of the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease. In addition to his responsibilities with the WSRGN, he is a practicing genetic counselor who provides pediatric genetic counseling services with the Hawaii Community Genetics program. Austin has been on staff with the WSRGN since 2019.

Pauline Mui
Project Technical Assistant

Pauline Mui has been the Project Assistant for the WSRGN since its start in 2004. She designs and maintains the WSRGN websites, is responsible for the WSRGN budget and finances, and coordinates all meetings and travel. In addition to her work with the WSRGN, Pauline is also an administrative assistant with the Genomics Section at the Hawaii Department of Health. She works closely with the Hawaii State Newborn Metabolic Screening Program, Newborn Hearing Screening Program, Birth Defects Program, and Genetics Program.

Marilyn Hartzell
Project Evaluator

Marilyn Sue Hartzell, M.Ed. is a Program Evaluation Consultant with over 20 years of experience designing and managing program evaluation studies within local education, higher education, and state public health programs.  Most recently, from within the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Ms. Hartzell designed, planned and conducted program evaluation projects for a multi-disciplinary center serving children with special health care needs and their families vis-à-vis the provision of direct clinical and therapeutic services, training of providers, systems change and conducting research.  Within this context, Ms. Hartzell’s  evaluation efforts focused on Oregon’s state Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Title V Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) program from within the Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (OCCYSHN.  Ms. Hartzell assumed the role of OCCYSHN Director in 2008. During her 10 years as OCCYSHN Director, she focused on strengthening statewide systems of care for CYSHN and their families, family involvement and program evaluation and research. Ms. Hartzell also participated in the WSRGN on behalf of the Oregon Title V CYSHCN program.  Ms. Hartzell is the parent of two adult children with special needs, one with a genetic disorder and one with a developmental disability. She serves on two state level advisory boards addressing the needs of CYSHN, and is an active family advocate.